Florida Instructional League – Game #4; 10/3/2015

Since Tuesday’s game, the Phillies have traveled to Tampa and had two camp days.  More camp days is a direct result of the Pirates decision not to schedule very many games this year.  I don’t believe they are travelling out of Bradenton at all this fall.

This morning at ten o’clock, the Phillies took the field against the Blue Jays.  Tyler Gilbert got the start.  He was followed by Edgar Garcia, Alexis Rivero, and Robert Tasin.  The top of the Phillies order was comprised of Roman Quinn, J.P. Crawford, and Domonic Brown. Cornelius Randolph batted fifth and Jhailyn Ortiz was the DH and batted seventh.  Sixteen year old Rafael Marchan also made a cameo at catcher but played the field for only half of an inning.

The Phillies received some good pitching and outscored the Jays 6-4.  Details below the fold.

Remember, these games are an opportunity for players do the things in a game situation that the coaches have them working on down here.  Could be fundamentals for all or specific things for an individual player.  This is from an article Larry Shenk posted on his blog after Monday’s game, “Six pitchers worked for the Phillies. The FIL is all about instruction. Base runners will work on stealing bases without the concern of being caught.  One reliever who was drafted in June threw a slider for the first time.  Another worked from a different side of the rubber and a third focused on being quicker to the plate with runners on base.”  And in an interview earlier this spring, Joe Jordan stated that the organization didn’t try to confuse new players (whether by trade, signing, or draft) with changes during the season.  He said they would wait for Instructs to break them down and build them back up.

Tyler Gilbert pitched the first three innings.  His third pitch landed on the other side of the left field fence.  But he rebounded with a three-pitch strike out on a 74 mph CB.  He went on to retire nine men in a row.  He punctuated his outing with his second strike out, also on a curve ball.  He threw 34 pitches, 24 strikes.  His FB was 88-90, T91.  His CB was 72-76 mph.

Edgar Garcia had an uneven outing.  He seemed to labor trying to throw strikes.  In 2.1 innings, he threw 48 pitches, 28 strikes.  He walked two, hit a batter, and threw a wild pitch. He gave up three runs on four hard hit balls.  Garcia was probably working on something.   new.  His fastball didn’t have the velocity it had on Monday.  It was more 88-90 mph, T 91 a couple times and T 92 once.

Alexis Rivero relieved in the sixth with a runner on second and got the next two outs on five pitches.  He had to retire five batters in the seventh due to errors, one his own on a throw to first.  He threw 20 pitches to seven batters and only threw 4 balls.  His FB was 93-94, T95.  His CH was around 85.

Robert Tasin pitched the final two innings.  His only blemish was a single to right.  He threw 25 pitches but his count was inflated by a nine-pitch at bat that resulted in his only strike out, swinging at a 90 mph FB.  His FB was mostly 88-89, but he did touch 90 three times.

The Blue Jays starter was Tom Robson.  He 3-hit the Phillies on Monday in 5.2 innings. Today, the Phillies got to him.  They scored single runs off him in each of the first three innings and finally chased him with a two out double in the fifth.  They beat up on his relief that inning, but were held hitless after the fifth.

Although the top of the batting order was stacked, they batted in order for the most part during the game.  Quinn lined a lead off single to start the first, stole second, and took third on a balk.  Brown brought him home with a soft line drive single to right.  The Jays rolled the inning after only three batters.

A two out throwing error led to a Luke Williams RBI single in the second.  In between Jhailyn Ortiz lined his first professional base hit, a single to left.

Quinn led off the third and lined a single to right center.  He stole second and moved to third on Crawford’s ground out to the right side.  He scored on Brown’s SF to right.

Ortiz and Williams worked two out walks in the fourth and the Jays rolled the inning again.  I was a little impressed that Ortiz was patient enough to take enough pitches to get a walk.  I describe his approach later.

After two outs from the bottom of the order in the fifth, Brown doubled on a line drive to right center.  (This was the only time the Phillies batted out of order.  This was Brown’s last AB, he was replaced in the field by Zachary Coppola.)  The left-handed reliever was greeted with a home run to left by Quinn.  The ball easily cleared the fence and short-hopped the clubhouse wall at Bright House Field.  A prodigious blast.  Crawford walked and Luis Encarnacion lined a double down the right field line.  That was their sixth run and last hit for the day.

For those who are interested, here’s the batting order –

  1. Roman Quinn, CF
  2. J.P. Crawford, SS
  3. Domonic Brown/Zack Coppola, RF
  4. Luis Encarnacion/Brendon Hayden, 1B
  5. Cornelius Randolph, LF
  6. Josh Tobias/Daniel Brito, 2B
  7. Jhailyn Ortiz, DH
  8. Luke Wilson/3B
  9. Edgar Cabral/Rafael Marchan/Nerluis Matinez, C
  10. Reggie Wilson, DH

Three of the pitchers put up good lines –

  •                      IP      H     R    ER    BB     K     Other
  • Gilbert     3.0     1     1      1       0       2
  • Garcia      2.1     4     3      3       2       1     HBP, WP
  • Rivero      1.2     0     0      0       0       1
  • Tasin        2.0     1     0      0       0       2
  • Batters Faced: Gilbert 10, Garcia 13, Rivero 7, Tasin 7
  • Pitches/Strikes: Gilbert 34/24, Garcia 48/20, Rivero 20/16, Tasin 18/12
  • Inherited Runners/Scored: Rivero 1/0

Five games next week.  I should be able to cover four of them.

Extra Innings –

  • Quinn had a pretty good game, but he should against players at this level.  Still, he executed well.  He went 3 for 5.  His 2 singles were semi-line drives to his pull side (left-handed).  The only at bat where he faced a lefty, he crushed his home run.  He stole 2 bases.  On the first one, he broke early.  The pitcher hadn’t moved home yet, but threw late and wild to second base.  At AA, he probably would have been caught stealing.  The pitcher was still rattled and balked shortly there after.  The second steal was more conventional.  He flat out beat a reasonable throw from the catcher.
  • Quinn struck out swinging and grounded out to second in his final 2 at bats.  He patrolled center field effectively, and turned in the defensive play of the game.  Garcia had pitched himself into trouble in the fourth.  With runners on first and second and two out, the batter lined a single to center.  Quinn charged the ball and threw a strike to the plate where Cabral had plenty of time to apply the tag.  (It’s interesting to hear the scouts as the play develops.  They want to see as much as possible.  So as soon as the ball clears the infield, you can hear a quiet undercurrent of “Send him”.  In this case they got what they wanted.  Documentation on Quinn’s solid arm.
  • Crawford went 0 for 2 with 2 walks and a stolen base.  He struck out looking on a 3-2 pitch that he clearly thought was outside.  He continues to amaze me with his plated discipline.  I think he saw 25 pitches in his 4 at bats.  He doesn’t help the pitcher by swinging out of the zone.
  • Randolph had a difficult day at the plate.  He hit a soft come-backer to the pitcher in the first and a much harder one in the fourth.  He struck out swinging in the fifth, and flew out to left in the eighth.  I was particularly attentive to his approach at the plate.  I was impressed with him all summer, and I can’t detect any changes that the coaches might have made.  Randolph only had one play in left.  He had to cover a lot of ground to make a catch well into foul territory on Ashburn Field.  (The game was played at the Carpenter Complex due to a charity event at Bright House Saturday Night – Hops for Hospice.  A lot of craft brewers present their beers to attendees who purchase a $25 ticket.  I covered this, too.)
  • Jhailyn Ortiz had 4 at bats as a DH today.  He went 1 for 2 with a walk and was hit by a pitch.  This was the first time I’ve seen him, so here’s what I saw.  He has a slightly open stance in the batter’s box.  His front foot is flat on the ground, and looks like it is pointed toward the pitcher.  It doesn’t look comfortable.  Doesn’t matter, i guess, since he toe taps into position as he steps toward the pitch.  Here it looks like his heel is slightly off the ground, but he generates a hard swing with little apparent effort.  His single was a legitimate line drive to left.  His hands are in good position, within the frame of his body and not too high as I would have expected from a 16-year old.  He has a little bat waggle above his shoulder, but that quiets down when his hands “lock” into position just before the pitch.
  • I was impressed with Ortiz’ patient at bats.  He didn’t chase, shoot he worked a walk.  I’ve become accustomed to young players hacking at first pitches.  He showed a more mature discipline than I expected.  Funny aside, during his first at bat Ortiz tired of waiting for the pitcher to deliver.  He stuck out his right hand toward the umpire asking for time.  The umpire ignored him, and Ortiz returned his hand to the bat.  I guess this is the baseball equivalent to, “You’re to young to get that call”.
  • I’m looking forward to seeing Ortiz next week.

29 thoughts on “Florida Instructional League – Game #4; 10/3/2015

    1. I have seen him at the Complex. But being included on the Instructs roster doesn’t necessarily mean a player will be in games. They participate in other ways. Last year Crawford was here and never saw his name on a line up card. But, he took 70-80 ground balls each day as the coaches changed the way he attacked balls to his backhand side. Watson may be working on something that doesn’t require he pitch in games.

    1. Guessing it’s more likely being used to get AB’s, since he’s been out for over a month. Less likely is that they’re trying to fix things with him, which at this point, is a needle in a haystack.

      1. Not so sure they aren’t trying to fix things. There has been rumor they might non-tender Brown. Seems not to be the case or they wouldn’t waste precious FIL AB on him. They are at least seriously considering Brown in Philadelphia for 2016. To me it makes sense to give him another half season to see if he improves, since Williams won’t be ready before then.

        1. If they don’t non-tender Brown that means their going nowhere as a team.

          Even a raw rookie like Altherr looked like Al Kaline out there when compared to Brown.

          Not even to mention the fact that Altherr would cost 1/5 th of the price of Brown.

          Brown’s done in this town and if the Phillies front office doesn’t realize that fact I guess they should be content to draw 1500 people a night less the season ticket holders whose numbers will be down next year.

          Brown was always hurt,couldn’t hit lefthanded pitching,heck couldn’t righthanders either,couldn’t field his position,and although fast was a dumb baserunner.It’s no wonder how Altherr, who hit .240,but with extra base power and is a very good defensive outfielder looked so much better than Brown.Even Cody Asche and the slow Darin Ruf ,recently converted outfielders ,could track fly balls better than Brown.

    2. Domonic Brown is still a roster-ed player. They have to continue to rehab him until he is no longer under contract. If they had already decided to non-tender him AND then didn’t continue to work to get him back into playing shape, the would ruin their credibility with any future free agents who they might be interested in signing.

  1. Jim, I really appreciate all that you do and these FIL reports are outstanding! That said, good stuff on Ortiz. I have a feeling a lot of us who frequent here can’t wait to hear more. 1st pick and top international bonus slot secured, top 10 system and lots of $$ to spend at the major league level portends to good things coming.

    1. Certainly, $4 mill has to give some baseball value and now we have actual evidence of some skill and a good approach at the plate. Top 20 it is. Encarnacion isn’t going to make my 20.

      1. Encarnacion and Pujols lost spots in my top 20 at the beginning of the year. Hitters that repeat SS get dinged hard, IMO.

        1. Pujols didn’t really repeat Williamsport this year but he did repeat the GCL last year. I’m not sure how you balance a guy repeating a level versus him being young for the level in his first attempt at it.

          Pujols still has an edge on the other two guys for me because he’s not a 1B only player and there were some good signs this year in his numbers and scouting tidbits. That could change if Ortiz shows a lot next year.

          1. Jose Pujols is young for his league, but not that much for a real prospect. Pujols is one (1) month younger than Carlos Tocci, who is two (2) levels ahead of him. Pujols is the same age as a 2nd year HS draftee, but his numbers for the most part, aren’t good. Hopefully, the power surge he had in the last 2 weeks of the season is a preview of a break-out next year.

            1. Sorry, I meant he was young for the GCL in 2013 and then repeated it in 2014. He was 19 all of this past season so I consider him age appropriate now for the most part. He would be slightly young, I guess, because of all the college prospects that go to short season A.

              True that his numbers aren’t great, but he did improve his strikeouts and walks from what he did in 2014. I don’t know if he would be in my top 20; he might sneak in near the end, but to me he’s “stock up” from last year.

    2. Whoa! It’s only been four at bats. Among the smallest of sample sizes. And’ he’s just 16 years old. There’s plenty of time to get our hopes up on this kid. I’m happy with what I saw yesterday. But, I’ll need to see him in a less structured environment like the GCL next season.

      1. I don’t think the number of AB’s determine the player’s prospect status. The minute a team gives a player a 4 million dollar bonus, says that he is a top prospect in their eyes. The next thing I look for with a 16-17 year old Latin signee, is what they say about him in instructs. After that, if they place him stateside and where they hit him in the lineup. Ortiz is a top 20 prospect for me just based on the confidence the organization showed when they signed him.

        1. VOR……that would seem to be built into and inherent into the system. Happened also with Larry Greene three years ago.

          2012 Reader Top 30

          01. Trevor May, RHP
          02. Jesse Biddle, LHP
          03. Sebastian Valle, C
          04. Brody Colvin, RHP
          05. Freddy Galvis, SS
          06. Phillippe Aumont, RHP
          07. Jon Pettibone, RHP
          08. Justin De Fratus, RHP
          09. Maikel Franco, 3B
          10. Julio Rodriguez, RHP
          11. Tyler Greene, SS
          12. Larry Greene Jr, OF

            1. yes…..but getting to your point in your post, that the instant a team selects someone high and gives them the large bonus money…they become the latest and one of the higher ranking prospects in their system…. initially.
              And then , after an extended sampling then the chips will fall where they may for the player.

            2. Yes. That’s how I view the prospects status/ranking. Teams have scouts who do this for a living. The tools they project for that player is their justification for that draft slot or signing bonus. That is as meaningful to me as their slash line in the GCL.
              J Ortiz has been seen in a playing environment, just not by us. The bonus is enough proof for me to rank him higher than a bunch of guys who project as MLB relief pitchers.

          1. That top 12 list looks plenty ugly, until you realize that the Phillies got 1 future star (Franco), 1 supersub (Galvis), and 1 reliever (De Fratus). May helped them get Ben Revere. Pettibone gave them 20 starts and even Aumont had his time in the bigs. Obviously, Franco saves the Phillies on this list.

            1. Guru…Trevor May could be ‘da guy’ for the Twins next year….he is coming on.
              They have high hopes for him.
              So far, five of the 12 contributed someway to a MLB team, I guess that isn’t too bad. Still have hope for Biddle in 2017 and maybe Pettibone next season..

            2. Romus, he needed a change of scenery. He spent 5 years in the Phillies minor league system and he had a poor year at AA. The walks ultimately sabotaged his Phillies career. Good for May if he turns it around for the Twins. He has certainly beaten the odds if he does.

              May helped the Phillies end up with 3.5 WAR of Revere, and now Cordero and Tirado. Not too shabby.

            3. Handzus…..John Sickels is really going out on a limb predicting all-stardom for May….I think he will be good but he has lots to beat out for that all-star status.

  2. Sometime this year or next Pujols will put it all together and advance rapidly. He has good power that will translate into an RBI guy. I’ll pick him as my breakout player next year.

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